The seventh annual Epic Float is expected to bring people from around the state to Kittitas County and the Yakima River Saturday.

As of this morning, more than 9,500 were invited on the event’s Facebook page, and more than 1,000 people said they would attend. The actual turnout typically is lower than the Facebook response. The float drew approximately 300 people to the Yakima River last year.

Floaters will gather near the Teanaway River and float a section near Cle Elum. Participants are encouraged to dress in wacky attire, and enjoy the good company, sun and summertime leisure. Bonus points go to participants toting animal-themed flotation devices, such as whales or turtles, organizers said.

The Kittitas County DUI Task Force is encouraging participants to be aware of underage drinking and DUI laws, and has been in contact with organizers. Drinking while floating the river is not a crime for those 21 and over, but it can lead to increased risk for injury and death, according to a task force news release.

Kittitas County Undersheriff Clay Myers said cold moving water and alcohol can be a tragic mix.

“If you are going to drink while recreating, be responsible and understand that these elements contribute to slower reaction time and reduced awareness,” he said in the release.

The task force also encourages participants to find safe and sober transportation home.

Epic floaters will camp at 29 Pines campground Friday and Saturday. Organizers said they encourage carpooling, sharing food, floats and hospitality.

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